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  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until very light.

  3. Beat in the sugar gradually and then the eggs, one by one. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  5. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, alcohol of your choice, and extract.

  6. Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Stir to combine after each addition.

  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

  8. Bake the cake for 60 to 65 minutes, until it springs back when pressed lightly in on top, and a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with foil for the final 15 minutes of baking.

  9. Remove the cake from the oven, and loosen its edges. Wait 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

  10. To dress the cake up a bit, sift a shower of confectioners' sugar over the top just before serving.

  11. Store, wrapped in plastic, for a day or two before serving. Wrap well and freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Pound cake's flavor "matures" over time. If possible, wait until the second or even third day to slice and serve.
  • While a traditional pound cake has no leavening other than air and eggs, our recipe includes some baking powder as well, to lighten it up a little.
  • Want an even lighter cake? Separate the eggs before you begin. After beating the butter and adding the sugar, beat in just the egg yolks. Beat the whites separately until they form stiff peaks, and fold them in after all the other ingredients have been combined. Make sure to use a very large mixing bowl.
  • When you cream (beat) butter, it may seem at the beginning as if you're just mashing it flat. But if you persevere, you'll begin to see it get fluffy. What you're really doing is adding air. When you beat the butter with sugar, it becomes even fluffier, evidence of more air. And when the eggs are beaten in, the fluffiness is at its peak. That's why this part of the mixing is so important. The more air bubbles you can beat in at this stage, the more air bubbles there are to expand in the heat of the oven. Baking powder or soda can do part of the work of leavening, but the more air bubbles you can get into a batter manually, the finer and lighter the texture of the finished cake.